Summary of Mueller investigation sent to congress says Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team issued more than 2,800 subpoenas and executed nearly 500 search warrants in its probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential involvement by President Donald Trump’s campaign.
That’s according to Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing the findings. The special counsel employed 19 lawyers and was assisted by a team of 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and other professional staff. The team interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
The summary says Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign or its associates “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Evidence gathered in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “is not sufficient to establish” that President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, according to Barr.
Barr says Mueller did not reach any conclusions in evaluating the president’s conduct, leaving it to the Justice Department.
Barr says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reached the conclusion without considering constitutional questions regarding bringing criminal charges against a sitting president.
The White House claims the Justice Department letter is a “complete exoneration” of President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump is claiming “Complete and Total EXONERATION” in a celebratory tweet following the release of the summary. Trump writes, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” as he heads to the airport in Florida, where he’s spent the weekend.
Trump spoke to reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington. Trump said “it was a shame” the nation had to go through the investigation. Trump is also lashing out at the investigation, claiming without evidence that it was “an illegal takedown that failed.”
In a statement, press secretary Sarah Sanders says Mueller “did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction.”
The House Judiciary Committee chairman says special counsel Robert Mueller “clearly and explicitly is not exonerating the president.”
Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted that Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress says that while President Donald Trump may have acted to obstruct justice, the government would need to prove that “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
But Nadler tweeted Congress must hear from Barr about his decision making and see “all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Donald Trump was right about the Russia investigation.
The Republican leader said he appreciates Barr’s goal of “producing as much information as possible” from Mueller’s investigation. But McConnell declined to call for the report’s full release.
McConnell also warned Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in U.S. institutions “are dangerous and disturbing.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says “the cloud hanging over President Trump has been removed” by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Graham, a close ally of Trump, also says it is “a bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down.”
Top House Judiciary Republican Doug Collins said “there is no constitutional crisis.” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said “it is time we move on for the good of the nation.”
Top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say Attorney General William Barr is “not a neutral observer” and they urge full release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
In a joint statement, the leaders says that Barr’s past “bias” against the special counsel inquiry shows he is “not in a position to make objective determinations.”
They say that “the fact that Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay.”
Several Democratic presidential candidates say special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian election interference and President Donald Trump must be made public.
California Sen. Kamala Harris says Attorney General William Barr, who submitted his summary of the report Sunday, “must testify” before Congress. She tweeted, “That is what transparency looks like.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts notes that lawmakers have voted to release the full Mueller report, not a summary from what she calls Trump’s “handpicked Attorney General.”
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker says the public “deserves the full report and findings” immediately, “not just the in-house summary from a Trump Administration official.”
And New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the Mueller report “must be made public.” She tweeted, “The President works for the people, and he is not above the law.”
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is claiming vindication as it celebrates the end of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale says in a statement, “Today marks the day that President Trump has been completely and fully vindicated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, exposing the Russia collusion conspiracy theory for the sham that it always was and catching Democrats in an elaborate web of lies and deceit. “
Parscale is also accusing Democrats of taking the country “on a frantic, chaotic, conspiracy-laden roller coaster for two years” because they were “distraught and blindsided” by Trump’s win.
A senior Justice Department official says Mueller was not consulted about the letter. The official was not authorized to be identified and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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